Thursday 27 January 2022

Next steps in education for my autistic teenager

I can't believe my eldest son is at the point of choosing his Yr 10-11 options. It really doesn't seem that long ago since we was diagnosed with ASD at four years old.   It's even stranger to hear him talk about things like what he'll do after school or if he'll go to college.  I'm delighted he's thinking about this but like everything with our kids I'm already thinking about how to prepare him.

Yes, like any and all children transitioning from childhood into adulthood, there is a lot to be learned, from how to look after their own health, how to navigate new experiences and places on their own.  But it's the extra things I'll try to prepare him for.  

Here are some things I've already started to think about beyond just what he might be training for or learning about.

When taking that step and heading off to college, there is more to the experience than just education. For many, this is the first time kids will experience time away from their parents. As a parent, this, however, is a daunting concept. Especially when your child is autistic as you may have additional concerns as to how they will cope when away from you and in a world they may not fully know or understand yet.

It can be easy to keep wanting to reach for your phone and check in regularly. To make suggestions on how they can meet new friends, or encourage them to sign up to various clubs and groups.  But, if your child is asking for this independence and space, it is important to give this. Make sure they are aware that you are there and will support them no matter what, but then leave them to it.

I already know and appreciate how important it is for our kids to have a place that is completely theirs which they find safe and comforting. If our child is going to be moving out of the family home, it is vital that a new place is found with plenty of time.  Anthony talks about how much he'd love to live on his own but I don't know if he really means it yet and I know he'd like to know where it was, what it looked like and so on. 

If he needed to go to into student accommodation I'd want to spend time assessing and finding one that allows him to feel as comfortable as possible.  Packing and making sure he knows he can take his comfort items to help with his emotions and provide the comfort and safety he will need would be important too.  I know that looking after his mental health will be high on our list of priorities especially when we aren't around.  He's getting better at this but it's definitely something I'm already thinking about too.  

This point for us is really only a few years away but I've already started to think about what he might want to do and where.  I'm honestly hoping it's close to home, but if not I've already got things in my mind to think about. 

Have you any suggestions?

No comments:

Post a Comment

I read all your comments and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me and our readers. I welcome any feedback on my posts and you can always contact me directly. Thank you.

Have a look at our most recent posts:

@rainbowsaretoo Ann H on Google + rainbowsaretoo pinterest rainbowsaretoobeautiful bloglovin Instagram rainbowsaretoobeautiful